Reviews selected from TV Zone #127
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Reviews online this month (ratings given are out of 10)
• top marks for a new Doctor Who collaboration
LEXX – going to town in Season 3
Randall & Hopkirk – the series finale inspires some poetry
• and we defrost the latest Simpsons video compilation

Also reviewed in this issue: more LEXX and Randall & Hopkirk episodes, our latest trios from Angel, Buffy and Stargate SG-1: more Doctor Who in audio, video and print, plus the latest Star Trek merchandise, the 10th Kingdom on video, and a Cunning Blackadder guide

THE SIMPSONS
RAIDERS OF THE LOST FRIDGE Rating: 7
Fox Home Video
88 minutes
Out 5 June 2000
order from Black Star: 20% off all pre-orders - free postage worldwide
Reviewed by
Dan Ranger
Get The Simpsons' Raiders... collection from BlackStarYou don’t win friends with salad

Food, glorious food. Celebrating that essential item here is the maestro of obese, Homer Simpson, spectacularly doing his thing in Look Who’s Coming to Criticise Dinner. His ability to hear pudding leads him into a job on the local rag as a food connoisseur, and soon he is the target of exploding, poisonous éclairs. Surreal, sublime and soaked in high-calorie humour. King-Size Homer is one of the best episodes ever, and avoids slips into any distasteful areas by clever writing. The jokes are sharp, and there’s a real story to be got out of this one, kids.

Going a little stale is the German episode Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk, where Burns gives up his precious plant to keep bees (“Yes, and that queen over there I’ve named Smithers”). The big laughs never arrive, but chortle along to the finale when Burns gets to taunt his successors. Brings out the xenophobe in the best of us.

Lisa the Vegetarian is an uncomfortable mix of the message of ‘vegetarianism is good, but people will laugh at you’, and an uneven side-order of amusement. Neither is strong enough to carry the other, although the comedy highlight has to be the notion that Paul and Linda McCartney often frequent a rooftop garden atop the Kwik-E-Mart. So, two satisfying dishes, two lumpy puddings.

selected from TV Zone #127
© Visual Imagination Ltd 2000. Not for reproduction
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DOCTOR WHO
THE BANQUO LEGACY Rating: 10
Virgin Books
ISBN: 0 563 53808 2
Written by Justin Richards and Andy Lane
Out: 5 June • Order from amazon.co.uk
Reviewed by
Neil Corry
“If you ask me, there’s something going on at the Manor…”

Doctor Who - The Banquo LegacyThere have only been a few excursions into first-person narratives in Doctor Who novels, with most authors seeing the books (quite rightly) as a traditional adventure series. This style, however, is used to magnificent effect in The Banquo Legacy and has famous predecessors, most notably David Whitaker’s Doctor Who in An Exciting Adventure with the Daleks and Donald Cotton’s The Myth Makers. It makes one wonder why, when the format proves so successful, more authors haven’t taken the plunge. Should more do so, it’ll be nigh on impossible to beat this superb Gothic tale.

Richards and Lane split the book between them and utilize two different perspectives that focus on an investigation into the mysterious and Bram Stoker-ian experiments at Banquo Manor, where sibling shenanigans into extra sensory perception and a Time Lord trap are about to cause a headache or two for the Doctor and his companions.

What makes the book such a pleasure, even with the restrictions imposed upon the writers, is its sheer confidence. Neither the story arc developed from events in Shadows of Avalon, the speed in which the book had to be written (it was brought forward in the schedules) nor the first person narrative ever diminish the impression that the two authors know their Doctor Who. There’s not a character out of place nor underwritten, the Eighth Doctor is simply spot on – although at more than one point you doubt he’ll ever appear again – and when the two narratives differ regarding events, what might actually be mistakes only increases the drama.

From Virgin Books’ often-mocked statement that they would make the stories broader and deeper than its tv cousin, now comes the novel that lives up to any such hype. While painted on a small canvas (the majority of the events occur in Banquo Manor), the attention to detail in character and plot make this a masterpiece of a novel. A mystery that pulls the reader deeper with every twist, The Banquo Legacy stands as the very best Doctor Who book and perfectly sets the scene for the story arc’s eagerly-anticipated finale, The Ancestor Cell.

selected from TV Zone #127
© Visual Imagination Ltd 2000. Not for reproduction
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